Samsung finally made the long-awaited Galaxy S8 and S8+ official earlier today and from what we've seen thus far, the immense hype that surrounded the two Galaxy phones before they were even unveiled was far from baseless.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are unique, to say the least, in that they don't look like anything else out there — not anything mass-produced, at least — but they are more then just bold looks. Although the duo unmistakeably carries the DNA of previous Galaxy phones, Samsung's latest offerings come with a plethora of new features on board, which set them apart from the current competition.
The new Galaxies, along with LG's G6, are the harbingers of a new era for smartphones, an era of big displays, small bezels, and relatively compact sizes. It's a truly exciting premise, and one that phone makers are seemingly willing to embrace.
So, with that said, let's check out all the fresh new features that the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are bringing to the table.
Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ all the new features
Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ all the new features
1. 18.5/9 Infinity Display
In line with the latest emerging trend, Samsung is ditching the current-standard 16:9 screen aspect ratio in favor of a new and taller display that nicely fills up the front of the S8, leaving very little in the way of bezels at the top and bottom. This means the S8 and S8+ are able to retain similar dimensions to those of their predecessors, all the while upping screen size.
2. Higher-res displays and amazing screen-to-body ratio
Both the 5.8-inch S8 and 6.2-inch S8+ feature AMOLED Infinite Displays with a native WQHD+ resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixel. Both phones sport an impressive 83 percent screen-to-body ratio and their displays manage to pack 500K more pixels than those of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
With the success of Amazon's Echo lineup, it seems like everyone is trying to implement a virtual assistant somewhere, be it in a smart home appliance, a speaker, or your next smartphone. In keeping with the times, Samsung too is developing its very own AI assistant. Named Bixby (because why not?), the AI will play a main role in the Galaxy S8 and S8+, as well as in future Samsung products and smartphones, and even has its own dedicated physical button on the new Galaxy phones. Although our time with Bixby has been rather limited, we like what we're seeing thus far and will definitely put the assistant's smarts to the test when the time comes.
4. On-screen navigation with haptic feedback
The new Infinity Displays found on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are so tall that there's no room left for a physical button on the bottom bezel. This has forced Samsung to look for an alternative solution, which comes in the form of an on-screen nav bar, while the fingerprint scanner has moved to the back of the S8, next to the camera. The on-screen navigation is fairly standard, consisting of three buttons, but there's a neat new addition to it that's pretty much invisible at first glance. In order to compensate for the lack of a physical home button, as far as physicality goes, at least, Samsung has tossed something of an iPhone 7-style haptic feedback engine into the mix, that's tasked with delivering a “clicky” response when the on-screen home button is pressed.
5. A fresh coat of paint
The design changes in the Galaxy S8 and S8+ extend to the user interface as well. Samsung has given its UI a fresh coat of paint, with a lot of redesigned icons in tow, as well as some, albeit minor, interface tweaks to set them apart from previous offerings by the company. There's a lot of new icons in store, all of them unified by a decidedly more minimalistic, line drawing-style aesthetic. Further than that, obviously taking a page from Google's Pixel book, Samsung has done away with the app drawer button in the dock, while the drawer is conveniently accessible by swiping up, Pixel-style.
6. Iris scanner and facial recognition
Making its way from last year's Galaxy Note 7, there's an iris scanner gracing the fronts of both the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Both phones also support facial recognition for faster unlocks, although the latter comes at the expense of security.
7. Upgraded front-facing shooter with face-detection autofocus
The Galaxy S8 bumps up the resolution of the selfie shooter to 8MP and also touts face-detection autofocus that's capable of quickly focusing on faces, as the name implies, without manual input.
8. AKG-branded earphones in the box
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ will both come with a pair of AKG-branded earphones in the box. We can't say anything definitive about sound quality yet, although the time for that will come soon enough, but we're not to see AKG's logo gracing the earbuds, as Samsung recently acquired Harman International – the company that owns the AKG brand.
9. New colors
The Galaxy S8 will be available in five colors. The US is getting Black, Orchid Gray, and Silver, while Blue and Maple Gold will be available internationally.